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quietearth [Film Festival 03.26.10] movie news

Yes we announced the partial lineup a ittle while back, and now we have the exclusive full lineup to share, and boy, is it a doozy. The festival runs April 28th to May 3rd so get your tickets now!

Opening night film: Splice by Vincenzo Natali.
Cosing night film: Cargo (which we loved, review)
TiMER (UK Premier)
Hunter Prey (International Premier) (teaser)
2033 (UK Premier) (Another film we loved, review)
1 The Stanislaw Lem adaptation (UK Premier) (Yes, we loved this too review)
Transmission (A Ballardian telecom malfunction, UK Premier) (review)
Eraser Children (International Premier, finally I get to see this tonight!) (trailer)
Radio Free Albemuth (Sneak Preview of this Philip K. Dick adaptation! We should have a trailer soon)
Earthling (International Premier) (review)
Depositarios (International Premier, more Mexican scifi) (teaser)
Plug & Pray (UK Premier, documentary)
8th Wonderland (UK Premier)

and much more! You can head over to the festival website for more details and tickets, and you can check out the full press release with details after the break.

* SPLICE (USA 2009, Dir: Vincenzo Natali, RT 100mins) – OPENING NIGHT FILM
From Academy Award-nominated producer Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II) comes the story of two rebellious young scientists who make a ground-breaking scientific discovery.

Clive (Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Academy Award-nominee Sarah Polley) are young, brilliant and ambitious. The new animal species they’ve engineered has made them rebel superstars of the scientific world.

When they secretly introduce human DNA into the experiment the result is something that is greater than the sum of its parts: a female animal-human hybrid that is a step up on the evolutionary ladder. Clive and Elsa think they may have designed the perfect organism, until she makes a final shocking metamorphosis that could destroy them.

* TiMER (USA 2009, Dir: Jac Schaeffer, RT: 99mins) – UK PREMIERE
What if a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate?
In this alternate version of present day Los Angeles, a revolutionary device called the TiMER fulfills this dream. For a reasonable fee and moderate monthly charges, a TiMER implanted in the wrist will accurately display the numbers of days, hours, minutes and seconds until the wearer’s date with destiny. Sounds awesome, right?

Not if you’re Oona O’Leary (EMMA CAULFIELD, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). She faces the rare dilemma of a blank TiMER. Her soul mate—whoever and wherever he is—doesn’t have a TiMER. Oona searches for her perfect match via process of elimination, tentatively dating TiMER-less men but never getting emotionally invested. Instead she convinces them to get TiMERs, only to have her hopes crushed time and time again. When is her countdown ever going to start?

* CARGO (Switzerland 2009, Dir Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter, RT 120mins) – UK PREMIERE, CLOSING NIGHT FILM
It is the year 2237. The Earth is dead and the survivors live on overcrowded space stations in earth's orbit. Some are lucky and are living on the distant planet Rhea. A young Doctor, Laura Portmann signs up for a job on cargo ship Kassandra, heading for a 4 year flight away from Earth..

The crew spend the most time of the flight in deep sleep while, with one person awake to monitor the spaceship. Toward the end of her shift, Laura hears unusual noises from the cargo bay. She wakes her colleagues and together investigate the cold cargo hold. They make gruesome discoveries

Laura uncovers the real destination of the ship and discovers their horror of their secret cargo.

* HUNTER PREY (USA 2010, Dir: Sandy Collora, RT 92mins) – INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
The Prometheus has dropped out of orbit. Communications and life support systems are down. Situation Critical: Status of Crew and Prisoner unknown. With orders to catch their Alien Prisoner alive the surviving crew of the spaceship Prometheus pursue a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with their escaped prisoner on a deserted and barren planet. But, who is the hunter and who is its prey?

From the guy who made the ultimate fan video, BATMAN: DEAD END comes the movie for sci-fi fans, no... it is made for geeks by geeks with a solid geek seal of approval. It is all those comics you read, all the things you loved in the 70s and 80s epic SF films. A must See.

* 2033 (Mexico, 2009, Dir: Francisco Laresgoiti, RT:100mins) – UK PREMIERE
In the future, the very lifeblood of old Mexico - religion and freedom of expression - are outlawed. In their place is a society ruled by a totalitarian military government that controls its people through an enhanced synthetic food. Pablo, the future equivalent of a yuppie, who enjoys designer drugs and hunting poor people, is being groomed to be the next leader. When the charismatic head of a religious cult tells him his father is still alive but enslaved by the government, Pablo joins their rebellion to rescue him and bring down the industrial-military regime.

This brilliantly realised film shows that Cuaron and del Toro are not the only Mexicans capable of making quality movies, and that Mexico is a force to be reckoned with in the world of science fiction.

* 1 (Hungary, 2009, Dir: Pater Sparrow, RT 91mins) – UK PREMIERE
Based on the essay One Human Minute by Stanislaw Lem, it takes his fictional review of a book, which purports to be a collection of statistics of what happens on Earth in the space of 60 seconds, and turns it in a mystery story. When the entire content of a world-renown rare books store disappears and is replaced by hundreds of copies of a single book called 1, those present in the shop are investigated by the Bureau of Paranormal Activity (RDI Reality Defence Institute). As all involved try to understand the contents of the book and where it originated, realities become distorted. But what do you expect from a film based on a work by the author of Solaris?

Visually rich verging on the surreal, and punctuated with archive news footage, it questions the very meaning of our existence and makes the X-Files look like a standard cop procedural.

* TRANSMISSION (Hungary, 2009. Dir: Roland Vranik, RT: 90mins) – UK PREMIERE
This is possibly this generation's worst nightmare. No television and no computers. The airwaves have gone quiet, the networks have stopped transmitting data, there are no phones and wires have stopped carrying electricity. The inhabitants of a Hungarian seaside town have managed to adapt (at least a lot better than we city folks would), although they still aren't sure how to fill the empty hours. Generators, and car batteries charged by treadmills, supply the electricity to power cinema projectors that can still show celluloid, but there is very little else to keep them amused. This story follows the lives of three brothers who join together to survive in this disconnected world, as their lives start to fall apart, especially the one brother who suffers insomnia as he can no longer fall asleep in front of the television.

This is not your typical science fiction movie, but a meditation on a world where technology has failed, and the ingenuity of humans to adapt and find solutions.

* DRONES (USA 2010, Dir: Amber Beeson & Adam Busch, RT 98mins) – UK PREMIERE
Drones are familiar to sci-fi fans, but this is not about Halo antagonists, Stargate weapons, robotic helpers or Borgian slaves. This is about the most unfortunate of them all; office workers who inhabit the grey and beige partitioned world of stationery supplies, photocopiers and PowerPoint presentations. Brian accidentally discovers that one of his colleagues is an alien when he catches him in the stationery room transmitting a message to his home planet. He soon discovers that some of his other colleagues are extra terrestrial but from opposing worlds with different plans for Earth; and things aren't looking great. Will Brian be able to save the day and win the girl? Co-directed by Buffy alumni Amber Benson and Adam Busch and starring familiar faces from cult shows such as Freaks and Geeks.

Drones takes the mundanity and humour of The Office and gives it a dark, extra-terrestrial twist.

* ERASER CHILDREN (Australia 2009, Dir: Nathan RT 100mins) – INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
Set in a world of useless products, police brutality and pre-paid dreams, the oppressive society has a list of Violations so long that laughing too loudly attracts a hefty fine.

Misner Corporation has invented a new source of energy that has given it a global monopoly on all facets of human life, creating a totalitarian society ruled by Misner. Those unwilling to work for Misner's régime, live underground in a dark world of insane 'system dropouts', who only come above ground during the one hour of darkness that occurs every day, caused by a giant ball of rubbish floating between the sun and the earth. Finnegan Wright, a lower level worker at Misner Corp., is taken on an enthralling journey when forced to live underground by one of the 'system dropouts', who convinces Finnegan that he can change the fate of the world by Killing Misner. A satire that comments on the way humans are so easily fooled into buying products they don't need, having ridiculous jobs and worshipping leaders who have no respect for the planet or anything on it. In this world it is better to live underground with the freaks!

Imagine Gilliam directing The Matrix meets 1984 by way of Max Headroom and you are near to the wonderful world of Misner and the Eraser Children.

· RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH (USA 2010, Dir: John Symon, RT 118mins) – SNEAK PREVIEW
Based on a 1976 semi-autobiographical novel, published posthumously in 1985, it recounts Dick's visions of Jesus and ancient Rome and a cosmic force called VALIS. In this film the visions are experienced by Nick Brady, a successful record producer, whose life becomes guided by VALIS, as it instructs him to lead a subversive campaign against the US president, a neo-fascist who invents a terrorist organisation to introduce a police state (sound familiar?). Phil, Nick's friend and a science-fiction writer, recounts the story as Nick tries to find out about the secret Aramchek organisation while coping with his visions and being investigated by the government.

This indie pic, which features singer Alanis Morrisette, eschews the big-budget tricks of previous PKD adaptations to give it more realism, as well as tackling the big ideas of spirituality and political conspiracies; ones that are still as relevant today as they were 35 years ago.

· EARTHLING (USA 2010, Dir: Clay Liford, RT 115mins) – INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
After an unexplained atmospheric event aboard an international space station that leaves all but one of the crew dead, a small group of people on Earth discover that they aren't who they thought they were. The group find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other, believing they have been suffering from a type of epilepsy, until the appearance of two small lumps on their foreheads. As the reality of their situation dawns on them, they have to decide whether to remain living amongst men or try to find a way back home. This US indie film questions sanity, humanity and the urge to survive, while retaining an air of mystery and compassion, in a sometimes haunting visual style that is comparable with The Man Who Fell to Earth.

* DEPOSITARIOS (Mexico 2010, Dir: Rodriguez Odongoli, Rt 105mins) – INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE
If you were disappointed by the recent Surrogates movie, then this movie is going to restore your faith in that film's underlying concept. In this future-set world mothers carry in-utero genetic clones of their children. The clones are kept in individual networked vats, and the person's diseases and pain are downloaded to the clone throughout its life. In cases of emergency they can also be used for spare parts. The police and a journalist are investigating crimes involving the despositarios, such as the lovelorn man who kidnaps his ex-lover's clone and keeps her in his room while trying to revive her humanity. Inside the police procedural and love story themes the film addresses many issues, such as right to life and the ethics of genetic engineering.

Both thought-provoking and action-packed, this is another great example of the original and intelligent sci-fi films coming out of Mexico.

* PLUG & PRAY (Germany 2009, Dir: Jens Schnaze, Rt 90mins) – UK PREMIERE

This documentary opens with an old German man struggling to get Windows to work on his laptop. It turns out he is Joseph Weizenbaum, a pioneer of computer programming and artificial intelligence. Then we meet Ray Kurzweil who designed the first OCR system and is a renowned futurist and advocate for AI and robotics. The film also introduces us to other pioneers and contemporary leaders in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and cybernetics, from MIT, Italy, Germany and Japan, as they present their latest developments. They also put forward their arguments for, and against, the use of robots, with Weizenbaum being the strongest and most reasonable voice, and Kurzweil's the most intriguing.

If you have been watching Caprica, this is like a historical documentary of the early development of Cylons (and we know how that turns out). Anyone interested in the future possibilities of science and humanity should see this film.

* 8TH WONDERLAND (France 2008, Dir: Nicolas Alberny and Jean Mach, RT 94mins) – UK PREMIERE
We've seen the power of Facebook and Twitter to rally people for a cause, even if it is only to create an alternative Christmas number one. Imagine if all the people on social networks shared a common view and declared themselves a virtual country. This is the concept behind 8th Wonderland, when a group of likeminded people decide to pool their collective energy and put it to use in the real world, starting with pranks such as putting condom machines in Catholic churches, before resorting to serious political activism in order to change the world. It is an example of international democracy that transcends borders and, like all ideals, works perfectly until someone decides to make himself leader.

Between Facebook and Danny Wallace's HOW TO START YOUR OWN COUNTRY, 8th Wonderland is not beyond the realms of possibility, and the movie not only addresses this and some serious issues, it also entertains in a multitude of languages without resorting to stereotypes.

Sign up as a citizen at


There is no denying that the web is the greatest democratiser of our time, giving a voice to even the most marginalised, such as Wes Vance and Aaron Frye, the hosts of Dead Pit is an internet radio station dedicated to horror movies, run by The Creepy Kentuckian and Uncle Bill, the alter-egos of the aforementioned pair, from a single room in Prestonsburg, an old coalmining town in the middle-of-nowhere in Kentucky. In a town that appears to have more churches than bars, this duo is a bit of an anomaly. Continuing the showbiz tradition of fat-thin pairings, these self-confessed rednecks are the horror genres equivalent of Harry Knowles – fan boys who got famous and respected within the horror community doing what they love, in spite of their thick Kentucky accents.

This documentary shows what can be achieved with a couple of microphones, passion and an Internet connection. Featuring genre legends and a few surprises. One for fanboys (and girls) everywhere.

* VAMPIRES (BELGIUM 2010, Dir: Vincent Lannoo, RT 88mins) - UK PREMIERE

The mockumentary format has now taken on the more sophisticated, eloquent branch of the undead, as a camera crew follows a family of vampires. “Living” in Belgium, which the head of the vampire family calls “a flat land full of grey people”, they are bored with their immortality. The family takes advantage of the country’s welfare system, while the authorities keep them fed with illegal immigrants, children and handicapped folk. Thankfully these are traditional vampires and must keep to a strict code, even if the teenage daughter does want to become human, but when they break the rules they are exiled to Quebec, where even vampires have to work for a living! Much more believable than Twilight’s vampire family, there is plenty of feeding frenzy action amongst the comedy of manners - sometimes very disturbing, other times laugh-out loud not to mention a satirical dig at Belgium.

Think Spinal Tap meets The Munsters, in Benelux.

* NOTHING (Canada 2004, Dir: Vincenzo Natali, RT 90mins) – UK PREMIERE!
David and Andrew have been best friends since they were nine. No exactly the dynamic duo, they share a house situated between two motorway flyovers. Andrew is a chronic agoraphobe, and David is a less than successful salesman for a company that sells wire. One day, the events in their already delicate lives come to a head and their world falls apart. Literally. Outside the confines of their home is nothing. Nada. Niente. Zilch. The whole world has gone and there is only white, and eternity of white, bouncy nothingness. Overcoming his fear of the great outdoors Andrew joins Dave as they gear up to explore the great unknown, where they discover they can make everything they hate, that’s left, disappear.

This is a totally bizarre and extremely funny film from the fervent imagination of Vincenzo Natali (CUBE). It is a nihilist’s dream, which shows that not only is there nothing to fear, but there is also no need to fear nothing. It has never been seen in the UK and there are no plans for a DVD release – this may be the only chance to see this excellent movie.

* LOVE STORY 2050 (India, 2008, Dir: Harry Baweja, RT: 180mins)

Only in India could they make a musical romance involving time travel and reincarnation. This film has all the elements that make Bollywood one of the most prolific film industries in the world, with audiences of millions: unrequited love, dysfunctional families, spectacular song and dance numbers, nasty villains, handsome heroes, and a three hour running time – and this one adds sci-fi and special effects. Karan is the rebellious son of a rich industrialist who falls in love with Sana, who isn't very interested in him. Eventually he wins her over, only to lose her. Sana expressed a desire to see Mumbai in the future, so Karan's inventor uncle uses his time machine to take him to 2050 where Sana is now a famous pop diva Karan, with the help of a female android called QT, must win her all over again while battling the evil Dr. Hoshi.

If you've never experienced a Bollywood movie before then what better way than with this sci-fi musical extravaganza, featuring special effects from Weta. It really is pure entertainment that has something for everyone.

At SCI-FI-LONDON 9, we are screening a mini-programme of science fiction cinema from Poland as part of our integral ‘focus on’ strand. We kept returning to the idea of bringing Stanislaw Lem to the attention of a broader public and the result of those discussions is this selection and a new book commissioned and created by the Polish Cultural Institute in London.

Stanislaw Lem is a writer of provocative and beautiful science fiction and we felt that his œuvre could provide the springboard for a collection of newly commissioned pieces. This film season is a companion piece to the book. I am proud and delighted to see this book come together and, as artistic icing on the cake, I am thrilled that the Quay Brothers, who have just made a new short film based on Lem’s short story MASKA, have created its unique cover.

So enjoy the book and the films and celebrate with us as we FOCUS ON POLAND.

Films include:

THE HOSPITAL OF TRANSFIGURATION (Poland 1979, Dir: Edward Zebrowski, RT 90mins)
Set in 1943, this is based on Lem's first novel, it chronicles the experiences of a young doctor starting out in a mental hospital. But who is more crazy here the patients or the doctors?

TEST PILOT PIRXA (Poland 1978, Dir: Marek Piestrak, RT 104 mins)
Can robots replace human beings? Pirx is the commander of a spaceship with a human crew but finds out one of them could be a robot – but which one and what threat does he pose? Test Pilot Pirxa is a landmark film for Polish cinema as it was for the first time that futuristic sets were created for a Polish film.

GOLEM (Poland 1980, Dir: Piotr Szulkin, RT:92mins)
Replacing mysticism with genetic science this film is set in a dark future. Scientists have created and control a half-human, half-android population. But one of the creatures begins showing independent will. Should he be destroyed lest he influence the rest?
A rare opportunity to see the disturbing and powerful film.

BARBARELLA (France/Italy 1968, Dir: Roger Vadim, RT 98mins) – SPECIAL EVENT

Curzon Midnight Movies and SCI-FI-LONDON present: SEXED-UP SCI-FI

FRI 30th APRIL from 10pm at the CURZON SOHO

Join us in Soho's boudoir lounge for themed cocktails and Alexander's Festival Hall & Piney Gir DJ tag team from 10pm, followed by a live performance from Suri Sumatra, and the ultimate cult sci-fi, BARBARELLA, on the big screen. Dress code: 60's/space age/erotica.

Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is a highly-sexed space agent kitted out with many stunning uniforms and a plush, psychedelic spaceship, who travels to another galaxy in search of evil scientist Durand-Durand.
Tickets on sale now: £8.00 in advance, £12.00 on the door. 0871 7033 988 /
Curzon Soho, 99 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 5DY

Our notorious all-nighters return to the festival with a super-strong line-up including:


1. SALUTE THE JUGGER (80 min) – LIVE. 4 comedians provide a new soundtrack!
2. THE ALIEN FACTOR (100 min) – UK PREMIERE (Cinematic Titanic)
4. THE UNEARTHLY (92mins) – MST3K

1. KAMUI – (Japan 2009, Dir: Yoichi Sai)

It is 17th century Japan and Kamui is a fugitive Ninja on the run. He despises the lethal laws of the Ninja where he must use his skills to kill others, and is in search for true freedom.

However, he is now hunted by his fellow ninjas as they must eliminate him for his betrayal. In order to live, he must constantly fight for his life and distrust others. An incident brings him to a fisherman’s family, where he finally starts to open up to other people. Meanwhile, those hunting him are setting their trap.

Kamui is a 2009 live-action movie directed by Yoichi Sai. It is based on a manga series by Sanpei Shirato from the ‘60s and ‘80s in which a fugitive ninja escapes his clan only to be hunted relentlessly by former colleagues who now consider him a worthless traitor.

TAJOMARU is the famous 'bandit' of the forest from RASHOMON. Whoever kills Tajomaru inherits his name, status and sword. A royal brother leaves his kingdom to protect the princess he loves, only to find a series of harrowing adventures along the way which lead him back to where he came from, and then disinheriting his past to become the bandit TAJOMARU.


For Fujiwara, everything seems to be going well - he is doing well in high school, he is good looking and also a good fighter. One day, he is suddenly attacked by a group of students without any provocation.

He then discovers that there is a mysterious violent game being played out in the corridors and playfrounds of Tokyo’s high schools. The game is being spread virally via the students’ mobile phones! The victims are mysteriously hypnotized and become senseless killing machines. Fujiwara must fight for his survival and to discover the game’s terrifying secret.

From The Creators of Chanbara Beauty Comes More Blades, More Babes and a Lot More Boobs!
Lili, heir to a famous master swordsman family celebrates her 20th birthday. During the ceremony she is mysteriously transported back in time to a small village in 18th Century Japan! The village is suffering at the hands of an evil geisha and her wicked army of bandits. Lili decides to fight to protect the villagers and the honour of her family using her skill with a katana and her wonderful magical boobies!

A collection of big screen features with creatures from out there. Kick back and escape the credit crunch.


Science fiction has often taken the future as a subject. In a new exhibition, ‘LIFE IN 2050′, we set the dial to 40 years from now and have commissioned visual artists to imagine the future.

How and where will we be living, what problems will still ail us, and what will have been our achievements?

Featuring 22 contemporary artists including Ben Hammersley, We Are Build, Graham Carter and Universal Everything, the event will be featured in Creative Review, Varoom, Computer Arts and Design Week.

Life in 2050 is an exhibtion created by Transmission for the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival and work will be exhibited from Thursday 22nd April – Tuesday 4th May 2010, at the Proud Central Gallery: 32 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 8BP. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 11am – 7pm, admission is free.

We created the SCI-FI-LONDON:LAB because we're committed to promoting science fact as well as fiction.

Filmmakers often tell us that sci-fi is tough to make due to a perceived need for special effects or lack of credible stories. The LAB programmes offer opportunities to consider new ways of telling stories and puts cutting-edge research and practice in the spotlight.

Scientists, comic artists, leading genre writers and filmmakers explore where fact and fiction intersect. This year we have several workshops planned with an aim to create some credible sci-fi film treatments.


* 60 YEARS OF DAN DARE – a celebration of this excellent her0
* FAITH WARS – The ideological square-off between religion and science is here to stay... or is it?
* MY FRIENDS WENT TO 2050 AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS INDECIPHERABLE MIXED-MEDIA POST-POSTMODERNIST METAPHOR. What will the arts scene look like in 2050? What new (or old!) forms and mediums will be grabbing the headlines, filling our homes and galleries and concert venues and mobile devices? And how will their creators be making a living from it?
* DR WHO on and off screen – we have directors and writers who have fashioned the Doctor of the past 40 years.

And many more – check the website for details.


10-12 April 2010

Simple – can you make a complete 5-minute science fiction film in 2 days?

Over the last two years we have had over 135 films made as part of the challenge. This year we go national with the event taking place simultaneously in 4 cities.

Prizes include cash, cameras and Kudos! Main sponsor: Canon
Jury includes: Charlie Burton (Assoc Editor, WIRED), Vincenzo Natali, Mick Garris

As well as the 48hour film challenge and in order to get the juices flowing and focus attention on the festival we have planned a few pre-event events which include:

* The UK Premiere of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION at Eastercon (2.4.2010) – we also screening another premiere and a selection of short films
* and a host of other satellite screenings with partners like Electric Sheep Magazine

SCI-FI-LONDON is now in its 9th year is UK's only dedicated Sci-Fi and Fantasy film festival, it screens world and UK film premieres, documentaries and a selection of classic SF titles. SCI-FI-LONDON also has a strong international shorts programme and screens a short film with every feature screening. It also holds a film school and filmmaking competitions to encourage more science fiction films to be made in the UK -

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Ben Austwick (12 years ago) Reply



Hal (12 years ago) Reply

well good


donc48 (12 years ago) Reply

Looks like the makings of a bitching great time anybody who's going enjoy.

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